Ah, Camberwell. Ah, the memories. We lived there for 5 years as newlyweds (as in that time before children….seems a long time ago, doesn’t it?) and it was what Time Out would describe as “buzzy”. Lots of cheap bars and restaurants, the occasional car break-in or handbag theft…and a Nandos. We were pretty happy there. We’ve been living in the slightly-further-North for 5 years, so it was strange to go back. But also kinda nice. Roo’s friend Rufus has just moved there (with the rest of his family) so I expect we’ll be visiting a lot more.
Roo and Ru needed a run-around, so we took them to Lucas Gardens, the patch of green between our newlywed flat and Nathan’s bachelor pad from the days before I lived in London. So, I’ve spent quite a lot of time in or around the Gardens, but somehow didn’t remember the details. Like whether or not it had a playground. These things just don’t seem as important when you don’t have children. Anyway, I won’t leave you in suspense for long. It does. Look, here it is:
It’s also way bigger than I remember. I remember it as being quite small, but also hosting the Camberwell Festival. I’m not sure how the two things match up in my memory but hey, that’s babybrain for you! There was definitely a festival of some sort there (albeit a very small one) as me and Nathan went there, did it and got the self-printed t-shirts. He made one with a flaming skull in a tasteful pink. I made one with a shoe on it.
So, yes it is a sizable park. There’s an ornamental garden with fountain (see above), a dog exercise area, the children’s play area and some more climbing frames for bigger children. The small boys particularly enjoyed this one:
See, it’s huuuge! Beside the giant swing and the giant climbing frame, there were some rope walks and what looked like totem poles in among a little nature area. Oh, and a huge fallen tree branch, which provided a few minutes’ entertainment. Another interesting feature was the building site round the back of the registry office, fenced off with the most toddler-sized of gaps in the fencing. Lucky that little boys have no interest in diggers. Oh wait….
My favourite little feature of the park were these little carousel horses, stuck on their own by the westerly gate. They looked kitsch and vintage, which I suspect is because they’re actually vintage. Roo liked riding on them too. It’s a but random, but it’s random touches like that that give a park personality.
VERDICT: Much more there than I remember. Playground is pretty average, but there is lots of fun to be had.